Germany to deploy troops in Lithuania, first move of its kind since World War II

Soldiers attend training during a visit by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius in Oberviechtach, Germany, Feb. 28, 2024.
Soldiers attend training during a visit by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius in Oberviechtach, Germany, Feb. 28, 2024. Copyright Daniel Lob/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Copyright Daniel Lob/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
By Euronews
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The base in Lithuania is expected to cost around €30 million per month.

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As NATO allies continue to reject calls to send ground troops into Ukraine, around 5,000 German soldiers are preparing to relocate to Lithuania in 2027, in a historic move that will see the first permanent deployment of German troops since the Second World War.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius visited troops in Bavaria who will be affected by the move. He said Germany has "experience with foreign deployments, including through the Battle Group".

"Nevertheless, the conditions here are different, as we are talking about several years and, in many cases, deployments accompanied by families," Pistorius added.

Germany is to deploy two combat battalions to support Lithuania following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago. 

The reinforcement of Lithuania is high on the agenda amid mounting concerns about a potential attack from Moscow, whose Kaliningrad enclave borders Lithuania, along with its ally Belarus. 

The permanent deployment of German troops will be only 100 km away from the border of Russia. NATO hopes the stationing of the troops will protect Lithuania as they predict Russia could attack the 60km stretch of land on the Polish-Lithuanian border called the 'Suwalki Gap,' if the conflict escalates.

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